Gypsies have always intrigued and fascinated - partly because of their mysterious origins, and partly because of the romance of nomadism. But because they resist assimilation, having survived as a distinct people for over a thousand years, they have also been the victims of other people's nationalism and xenophobia.
In this fascinating and timely study, Fonseca focuses particularly on the gypsies in Eastern Europe (an estimated 6 million), and their future as a distinct race within a nationalist Europe. While researching the book, Fonseca learned Romany and stayed with the gypsies, becoming deeply involved with their lives, and befriending several gypsy kings.
The result is a clolourful and frank book, filled with enthusiasm and curiosity, without lapsing into piety or romanticism.
About the Author
Isabel Fonseca was born in New York and educated at Columbia University and Oxford. She was an assistant editor at the Times Literary Supplement and has written for a wide range of publications, from the Wall Street Journal to Vogue. Her first book, Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey, has been an international bestseller and her first novel, Attachment, was published to critical acclaim in 2008. She lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.
"Compassionate, amusing, sardonic and highly intelligent." - Michael Ignatieff, Independent on Sunday
"Isabel Fonseca's book is literally a revelation: a hidden world - at once ignored and secretive, persecuted and unknown - is uncovered in these absorbing pages. She writes with grace, insight and passion, and peoples her text with vibrant characters brought vividly to life. It is a magnificent achievement." - Salman Rushdie
"A grand panorama of European gypsydom, its history, its present condition and its future prospects." - Jan Morris, Sunday Times
"A passionate and dramatic defence of the defenceless... This beautifully written story speaks in a way of all who do not want to submit to he reverses of fortune, who seek their own place on earth." - Ryszard Kapuscinski
"An utterly fascinating, and even inspiring, book." - Edward Mortimer, Financial Times
"The author details the discrimination that has kept the Gypsies, now often called Roma, from development of an identity and acceptance by the international community. Fonseca's work will appeal to both interested lay readers and scholars in the field." - Library Journal
"Fonseca sees a glimmer of hope in the fact that Gypsies are beginning to acquire a new collective identity as "Roma." This book gives a vital voice to a group long persecuted and misunderstood." - Publishers Weekly
'A remarkable achievement. A gripping, original work' - Edward W. Said